1. Child sexual offences
Revised sentencing guidelines for child sexual offences in cases where no sexual activity takes place or the targeted child does not exist come into effect on 1 July 2022.
The guidelines specify how judges and magistrates should base the sentence they impose on the intended sexual harm to a child, whether or not a child victim existed or sexual activity took place, for example in cases where the offender was arrested following a police ‘sting’ operation.
The revisions cover:
Arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence (s14 Sexual Offences Act 2003) even where no sexual activity takes place or no child victim exists. The maximum sentence depends on the activity being arranged but would be life imprisonment if the rape of a child under 12 years old is being planned. Causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity (s10 Sexual Offences Act 2003) and other similar offences, even where activity is incited but does not take place or no child victim exists. The maximum sentence is 14 years’ imprisonment. Also coming into effect on 1 July is a new guideline for the offence of sexual communication with a child (s15A of the Sexual Offences Act). Offenders face a maximum penalty of two years in prison for sharing images, causing psychological harm, abuse of trust or the use of threats or bribes.
2. Burglary offences
Revised sentencing guidelines for domestic, non-domestic and aggravated burglary offences in England and Wales, come into effect on 1 July 2022. The revised guidelines introduce new middle categories for both culpability and harm factors to allow judges and magistrates greater flexibility in deciding on an appropriate sentence. The Council has also updated the format of the guidelines to reflect the stepped approach used in recent sentencing guidelines.
The sentencing guidelines apply to:
domestic burglary (section 9, Theft Act 1968) non-domestic burglary (section 9, Theft Act 1968) aggravated burglary (section 10, Theft Act 1968)